Revealing the Past
Recently, Becky has been doing a lot of research into the Cross House, and has been delighting me with emails rich with information. Becky, and her husband, John, were my guest for dinner a few weeks ago.
One such story involves Issac Lambert, who purchased the house in either December 1906, or January 1907. Lambert was a prominent attorney and politician. His wife, Hattie, died in February that year. It is not known if Hattie occupied the Cross House. Lambert later married Milson Cutler.
In 1909, Lambert tragically died in the Copeland Hotel, in Topeka, Kansas.
The New York Times, New York, NY 15 Jan 1909
RESCUE MANY IN HOTEL FIRE
State Senator Stewart Drops Guests from Windows – I. E. Lambert Perishes
TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 14. – The body of Isaac E. Lambert, an Emporia attorney and politician, was found to-night in the ruins of the Copeland Hotel, with the head missing. When last seen, Lambert stood at an upper window, soon after the fire started at 4 A. M., begging the firemen to save him. Finally he disappeared into the interior.
The Copeland Hotel was an old structure, and proved to be an easy prey to the flames.
Several daring rescues were made duirng the progress of the fire by J. W. Stewart, State Senator from Sedgwick County, aided by W. Y. Morgan, editor of The Hutchinson News. Senator Stewart had a room on the fourth floor of the hotel. When he was awakened he ran into the hall and found it full of smoke. He had hardly opened the door when T. B. Murdock, editor of the Eldorado Republican, appeared. A few seconds later Mr. and Mrs. W. Y. Morgan, whose room was opposite to Stewart’s, appeared.
All started toward the fire escapes, but they were cut off by the flames in the hall. Stewart rushed into a room and threw open the window. Then he grabbed a mattress and threw it out. There is a two-story building on the south side of the hotel, and the mattress fell on the roof of this building. The Senator Stewart got T. B. Murdock to the window and held him by the hands, something like trapeze performers hold each other by the hands and wrists in doing the “leap for life.” Senator Stewart swung Murdock out from the building and to one side, and then let him drop to the mattress.
Mrs. Morgan and Mr. Morgan were dropped to the mattress in the same way. Mrs. Morgan struck a timber on the roof and her leg was broken.
From A Standard History of Kansas, and the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, page 698.
ISAAC E. LAMBERT, SR., whose tragic death in the burning of the Copeland Hotel at Topeka in 1908  is generally recalled, was in his time one of the most prominent attorneys of Kansas and stood in the forefront of his profession and also as a public leader. His son, Isaac E. Lambert Jr., is also a lawyer, a resident of Emporia, and is now serving as chief clerk of the Kansas House of Representatives.
At the time of his death Isaac E. Lambert, Sr. was fifty-five years of age and in the prime of his powers. He was born in Knoxville, Illinois, in 1853, spent his early youth there, and graduated LL. B. from the Northwestern University Law School at Chicago. He began practice in Peoria, Illinois, where for a time he was in the office of the noted Robert Ingersoll. Coming to Kansas in 1875 he located in Emporia and soon had acquired a reputation and successful general practice. He was especially noted as a criminal lawyer, though for many years his practice was corporation work. The Santa Fe Railroad Company employed him as its attorney with jurisdiction over twenty-two counties from Lyon County to the western limits of the state. He was also attorney for the National Hereford Association and for a number of other associations and corporations.
He served at one time as United States district attorney of Kansas, was postmaster of Emporia during Benjamin Harrison’s administration. As a republican he was prominent both in county and state politics and was a delegate to the national convention that nominated William McKinley. He belonged to the Methodist Church and to Emporia Lodge No. 633, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Aside from his profession his favorite interest was the raising of blooded cattle and horses. He owned some extensive ranch properties, and his name was familiar to horsemen’s circles as the owner of Baron Wilkes, one of the famous trotting horses of his time.
Mr. Lambert married Hattie Barnes, who was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, 1856. They were married at Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mrs. Lambert died at Emporia in 1907. Her seven children were: Eddie and William, both of whom died in infancy; Boyd, who accidentally shot himself at the age of fourteen; Hattie, who died in infancy; Caroline, wife of J. B. Root, an insurance man at Emporia; Isaac E. Jr.; Calvin, now a senior in the University of California at Berkeley. A short time before his death Isaac E. Lambert, Sr., married Miss Milson Cutler, who was a first cousin of his first wife. She now resides in Berkeley, California.
Three children of Isaac and Hattie survived their parents. Caroline (d. 1965), Issac, Jr. (d. 1976), and Calvin (d. 1976).
In 2014, I discovered a poignant connection with Isaac and Hattie Lambert.
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